Sunday, May 15, 2016

Among the Stars

One experience in Paraguay remains forever etched in my mind. I was hours away from the nearest city out in "the jungle" as I called the area. More accurately, I was was staying with a family who lived in the Hernandarias region (close to the border of Brazil). There were no modern conveniences of running water, bathrooms, or electricity. Also, the nearest neighbor was miles away from us. Evening came, and it was pitch black. It was the first night there that I will always remember.

I woke up in the middle of the night and was awestruck by the beauty of the sky! A gigantic rainbow of stars took my breath away! I had never seen the Milky Way's galactic center so intense before. I have yet ever to see a photograph that accurately captures what I remember. I couldn't sleep that night simply because I was so mesmerized by the sheer number and brightness of the stars. I remember feeling insignificant and part of something greater all at the same time. Words cannot convey the feelings that I experienced nor the beauty of the night. I was rendered speechless!

 There are times when I liken that experience to being connected with so many amazing educators. It's easy for me to feel insignificant especially when I fall into the trap of comparing myself with others. I can't help but wonder, "What possible contribution can I make to so many brighter stars?" I feel inadequate, incompetent, and even unworthy of their company. I'm in awe of what others can do. I admire them for their intellect, innovation, endless energy, and the seemingly infinite number of achievements. In those moments when I don't feel valuable, I have to stop myself from spiraling down a funnel of depression and judging myself too harshly. I forget that there are seasons in life when you can do more and when you need to do less. I forget to prioritize. I forget to give myself credit. I love being a connected educator! But the downside is the constant bombardment of others doing the great things that I wish I could do too.

The truth is that the Milky Way would not be what it is without every single star. It's the combination of all of the unique elements that make it such a grand site.

Everyone has a contribution to make. It's the uniqueness of each star or each educator in a PLN that makes it so great. If you're like me and find yourself once in awhile doubting yourself and your contribution, remember to reflect and take the time to celebrate your uniqueness and talents. You are your worst judge. Keep creating, sharing, and being you.

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